Is there room for one more reality TV series featuring a raging, foul-mouthed narcissist?
Last week, the Oxygen cable network launched a new Tuesday night series, “The Naughty Kitchen with Chef Blythe Beck,” about the drama surrounding the opening of a new Dallas restaurant, Central 214.
Beck is apparently a “star” chef in Texas, but based on the debut episode that Oxygen sent me, the woman doesn’t have the charisma to carry a series and her staff is a collection of mopes and dopes with little of the energy and humor associated with restaurant work (the two teeny bopper self-described “door whores” – below – who greet guests and answer the phone wouldn’t last five minutes in a Manhattan or Fairfield County establishment).
Oxygen clearly hoped it had found a new female Gordon Ramsay in Beck. The chef certainly qualifies as a obscenity-spouting, egomaniac, but Beck doesn’t have the credentials to justify her Ramsay-like behavior. Ramsay came to reality television because of his long and hugely successful career as a chef and restauranteur in London and New York — he had a hit show on British TV, “Kitchen Nightmares,” before U.S. producers came calling for the current Fox series, “Hell’s Kitchen.”
“The Naughty Kitchen” serves up food that looks like glorified roadhouse grub — Beck tells us that it is “naughty” to present so much fried, high fat content food in a boutique hotel eatery, but it looks more like a rip-off. The first episode climaxes with Beck in tears upon learning that the Dallas Morning News has panned Central 214. That verdict combined with the perverse charmlessness of the show’s star should have been enough for Oxygen to pull the plug before putting “The Naughty Kitchen” on the air.
What’s the point of a restaurant-based reality show with food you don’t want to eat and a chef you wouldn’t want to meet?
(Episode two of “The Naughty Kitchen with Chef Blythe Beck” is on Oxygen tonight at 10 p.m.)